Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Alternative Certification Isn't

Obviously we are thrilled with the recent study by Fordham and NCTQ revealing that Alternative Certification in the US really isn't. I remember back a few years when I briefly thought about going to law school and looked into a couple of night schools. I found out that they basically consisted of the day time program crammed into the night - it wasn't spread out or really designed for busy professionals to complete their course work. It was designed to work well for the university.

So to with Alternative Certification programs - and it is not surprising since most states put union members and ed school professors on their certification approval committees. Can anyone really be surprised that the programs they approve all include course work? The sad thing is that most of the course work is done during the first year of teaching. So this new teacher has to learn the craft, create great lesson plans, grade their papers, build their stamina (let's not kid ourselves - this is key) and then go to classes at night?? Gee - I wonder why they don't stay around long.

Also - it gets really annoying out there when everyone thinks that Teach for America, The New Teacher Project and Troops to Teachers are alternative certification programs- they are not. They are recruitment strategies (that work by the way!!). They recruit prospective teachers and help them get through current certification methods accepted in the state.

One can only hope that people read this and understand that to truly attract more people into teaching, we need alternative certification routes designed to attract professionals who want to work with America's students.

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